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Paul Gorman tries to make sense of the modern world, with your help.
It really hasn't been a vintage summer for Otago cricket fans, which makes the incredible victory by the Black Caps on Wednesday at the University Oval in Dunedin even more sweet.
Wouldn't it be great to be a fly on the wall of the dressing rooms and be able to absorb the emotions of the moment? Everyone always loves a winner, but I find I always tend to gravitate more towards the losers and feel sorry for them. Maybe that's something to do with being English?
After setting such a big score, then losing, I wonder how the England players were really feeling. "Gutted" is probably not a strong enough word. Yet at the same time, I imagine they would have a lot of respect for Ross Taylor after his amazing innings. So many conflicting emotions.
When it comes to cricket, I'm quite opinionated. It's the only sport I know much about - unless darts and snooker count as sport too?
I'm incredibly anti-sledging and think bouncers need to be banned. If you're a good enough player, you don't need to engage in vile sexist or racist insults of a player or their family members to gain the upper hand. Where are the umpires when this is happening?
Regarding bouncers, when a player gets hit in the head by a short-pitched ball, and the fielding team rushes up looking concerned and semi-surprised, well, I find it quite hypocritical. What do you expect will happen from time to time if you're aiming the ball at somebody's head to make them fear for their safety and play a false shot?
Call me old-fashioned if you like. Actually, just call me. I'm keen on your feedback on this most "gentlemanly" of sports.
Lyndall Hancock, of Waverley, backs up my view that university field trips were more hard graft and less jelly wrestling than perhaps they are today.
He recalls a stage 2 geography surveying camp.
"A week in winter 1957 at Tirohanga on the Taieri. Bitterly cold with rain and sleet. All those heavy surveying instruments to be lugged up hills and around roads, and I only weighed 45kg.
"But at least the food was sustaining, and Tirohanga common room was warm in the evenings when we did all our paperwork."
And Lyndall says he passed, with a B. Well done - you'll go far!
Reaching for the sky
Errol Holland, of Roslyn, is about to kick the old "my plant is taller than yours" conversation into action again.
His photo shows "some sort of aloe which I have had in a pot for about 16 years".
"The spike, which must be about 5m, shot up within a couple of weeks for the first time earlier this year.
"I have been waiting to see the flowers develop. They have been slower in coming and it looks like they start at the bottom of the stem and die off as new ones appear further up the stem.
"I have been fascinated following the progress and am wondering what the ultimate feat will be!"
I'm keen to hear how it will end too. Perhaps with a fireworks extravaganza?
Following my colleague's concern about the short life and built-in obsolescence of computer printers, Joan Carter has written to say there is a solution.
"Where dead printers go should be to Cargill Enterprises in Hillside Rd in Dunedin.
"They charge a few dollars to dismantle them and recycle the parts where possible."
In similar vein
ODT columnist Elspeth McLean, of Broad Bay, has a question about disposable cups.
"I note on the last couple of trips I have had to Dunedin Airport that coffee there now is only sold in disposable cups.
"What is nutty about this is that while the disposable cups may say something about how ecologically friendly they are, where do people put them? I couldn't see anything other than ordinary rubbish bins in the vicinity of both cafes, so presumably all this rubbish goes straight to landfill?
"Considering both of these outlets need to have dishwashers to wash their cutlery, their glassware and plates, why the heck can't they have real cups? It is not a good look."
Good point, Elspeth. I've referred your cup concerns to the airport and hope to have an answer soon.